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A thoroughly misjudged project: those who know Proust will find the film insulting, those who don't will find it baffling. So whom was this movie made for? The American art film distributors, I suppose, who still believe that a classic source plus a fashionable star (Jeremy Irons) plus a name director (Volker Schlondorff) inevitably add up to box office success. But Schlondorff succeeds only in offering a few banal, garishly tinted views from Proust—literary postcards. The sole principle of adaptation consists of aligning the novel's most sensational scenes, without regard for their place in the narration: the behavior of the old, decaying Charlus is superimposed upon his younger self (Alain Delon); scenes from the Marcel-Albertine passages are perfunctorily slapped on Swann and Odette. With Ornella Muti and Marie-Christine Barrault.

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